Friday, July 07, 2006

Savory Arugula Salad

We've made this salad three times in the recent past and expect many encore appearances throughout the summer season. It's spicy and satisfying, but still light and refreshing.

One bunch arugula, washed and dried
One head fennel, stemmed and coarsely chopped
Parmagiano Reggiano, shaved in sheets using potato peeler
Prosciutto, coarsely ripped
Top Shelf Olive Oil
Coarse sea salt
Coarse black pepper
(Bosc pear, optional–best instead of prosciutto, rather than in addition to)

Note: The success of this salad was due, in large part, to the flavors of an award-winning olive oil (Balzana, 2005) and the nuttiness of the reggiano. Lesser quality substitutions didn't deliver, so break out the good stuff. Quantities are to taste, which, for me, means don't go crazy with fennel or capers, but be generous with the cheese....of course.

Directions: Mix arugula, fennel, capers, parmagiano and pear if you decide to include it. Tear prosciutto into bite-sized pieces, removing fat as you go–then sauté it until lightly crispy. Drain fat and add, while still warm, to arugula, fennel, capers and shaved reggiano. Toss all ingredients, drizzling in olive oil and sprinkling with coarse salt and pepper.


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